Scott Parker was delighted with his team’s spirit as Fulham battled back to grab a precious point at Tottenham tonight in a game hastily rescheduled at short notice by the Premier League.
The Fulham manager hailed his side’s bravery and character as they shrugged off the setback of conceding to a Harry Kane diving header midway through the first half to dominate the second period and grab a deserved equaliser consider of Ivan Cavaleiro. Parker was proud of Fulham’s efforts, especially as a matter of players have only just shaken off coronavirus themselves. He told his post-match press conference:
I thought we were immense tonight. To a man we were superb under what we faced, with a lot of speculation, a lot of talk from everyone outside. No-one really understood and no-one really knows the full extent of what we’ve been through. We had players out there tonight who’ve had one day’s training after coming back from illness, players in the squad who’ve had two, three, four days of training.
Overall I’m very, very proud because of what we faced, but I don’t want to lose sight of our bravery, commitment, desire. It was all there, but there was also a real quality. I thought we were immense tonight, with the ball, our gameplan, the way we went about it. We caused Spurs a lot of problems. Of course you come to this place and you’re going to need your ‘keeper to pull off a couple of saves, which he did, but for large parts I thought we controlled the game really well and showed some real quality about us.
Parker admitted that Fulham used the fact that they were up against adversity, having had this game fitted into the fixture list with only two days notice. He had been outspoken about his disappointment in the lead up to the match – and detailed some of what his side have had to deal with recently.
We definitely needed that tonight because it’s been a tough couple of weeks for us, with 10, 11 positive tests. It was 14 days ago this game was scheduled, so we had players who have been in isolation and indoors now for 10 days. A game then gets put in our laps on Monday morning at 9.30 so players had to come in and play the game.
We used that, of course we did, because we felt it was unfair, we didn’t think it was right what happened tonight in that sense. So certainly yes that helped, but I’m more pleased with the way we played. I thought we played ever so well.
Confidence is clearly growing within the Fulham ranks that the Cottagers can beat the drop – and Parker believes his side can survive if they continue to replicate their excellent performances of late.
I think we can. I see a team growing, from the start of the season to now, a team that are relentless in their work. Every day we come in, work tirelessly on the training pitch. These are players who are engaged, players who want to learn, players who want to be successful. With that, and with that spirit and that hunger to learn and get better, you always have a chance. We’re going to need that desire, but you also have to show your quality, and I thought we had a real identity about us tonight.
One of the reasons why I love Parker is how honest he is in speaking to the media. He’s usually so placid in his media duties, that’s what you know the rescheduling of this game threw a real spanner in the works. He’s right to be proud of the boys tonight – that was one hell of a performance.
What a great result. Scotty should be proud if his players. At long last we have a team that can defend consistently. We do need a striker and my biggest regret is Mitro is not playing well. He was not even on the bench. I certainly want to keep him at the club. No sign of Carney either. we just now need to turn the draws into wins and we can survive,
Credit where credit is due. Parker has installed a system and an identity into the squad. And credit to TK too. The players brought in are far better than last time. If we could have got the players in preseason then what a difference that would have made. We’ll never know how much of that was enforced on us. Personally I feel we tried the Championship players and then abandoned it when it was obviously not working. With what he has been given Parker has done a great job.
My only nagging doubt is we haven’t given Mitro a go in the ‘new Fulham’. I think the pace and mobility elsewhere can carry Mitro and we then have a presence in the box. I fear our treatment of Mitro has pushed his form, confidence and play time to a level where he is going to leave. If so we need a replacement and quickly. An on form Mitro in our new team is what we are missing.